Archerd Shell Collection > Shell Classes > Gastropoda > Littorinidae

Family: Littorinidae (Periwinkles)


Periwinkles have solidly built shells with typically sharp round protuberances. The outer lip of the shell is sharp-edged and thin, while the mollusc has a horny operculum. The species shown here is larger than many (4 cm.) and was found in Japan. They are found in intertidal locations widely distributed in most parts of the world, and often in swarms on harbor walls and other rocky surfaces. Some, however, live in mangroves.

The range of conditions in which periwinkles live can be surprising. Some, like Nodilittorina pyramidalis, have adapted to harsh dry, hot conditions which occur in places that may be wet only once or twice a month during the highest of the high tides

Interestingly, several families in the superfamily, Littorinoidea, have further adapted to heavily muddy water by developing the capacity to breath air directly (see, e.g., Pulmonate snails).


Class: Gastropoda
Clade: Littorinimorpha
Superfamily: Littorinoidea
Family: Littorinidae
Major Genera  
  • Genus: Cremnoconchus
  • Genus: Echininus
  • Genus: Haloconcha
  • Genus: Littorina
  • Genus: Nodilittorina
  • Genus: Peasiella
  • Genus: Tectarius

Tectarius pagodus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Pagoda Prickly-Winkle

Archerd Shell Collection > Shell Classes > Gastropoda > Periwinkles